Back to Press Releases
November 28, 2018

Calico Announces Collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania for Translational Medicine Efforts in Aging and Age-related Diseases; Garret FitzGerald to Become Senior Advisor to Calico

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif, November 28, 2018 – Calico Life Sciences today announced a new collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT), led by Dr. Garret FitzGerald, who will also become a senior advisor to Calico. Dr. Garret FitzGerald is the McNeil Professor in Translational Medicine and Therapeutics in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine.

As part of the agreement, Dr. FitzGerald will facilitate the study of human biology at Penn Medicine and Calico as Calico drug candidates progress into clinical studies. He will identify collaboration opportunities between Penn scientists and Calico in areas of interest in aging and age-related diseases. Additionally, as a senior advisor to Calico, Dr. FitzGerald will work closely with Calico scientists in their efforts to translate new discoveries into clinical candidates, and also evaluate and advise the Company on potential new external collaborations.

“It is not often that one comes across a scientist who has contributed as much as Garret has to the understanding of how medicines work, from his fundamental research on how low-dose aspirin could be cardioprotective, to being the first to demonstrate a cardiovascular safety issue associated with NSAIDs, to his lab’s leading work in molecular clocks and circadian rhythm,” said Arthur D. Levinson, CEO and Founder of Calico. “As we continue our research into biological pathways involved in aging and age-related disorders, furthering our understanding of how potential clinical candidates work from a mechanistic standpoint in people will be a critical part of our efforts. We are excited to work with Garret and the Penn team to further our basic and translational research programs.”

“Developing a new medicine is an arduous and costly process and the reality is that most drugs fail in mid-stage clinical trials. For the few that reach patients after robust clinical studies, the biology or mechanism by which they work is often not well understood and can lead to both safety issues and inconsistency in how patients respond to therapy,” said Dr. FitzGerald. “At our Institute and now with Calico, we are working to bridge this gap by focusing on conducting the studies necessary to move from early clinical development to developing informative ‘human biology studies’ that could provide important data on how a potential medicine affects its intended target at the individual level.” Read more about Dr. FitzGerald’s perspective on “The Future of Humans as Model Organisms” in Science.

Editor’s note: FitzGerald serves as a paid consultant to Calico.

About Dr. Garret FitzGerald

Dr. Garret FitzGerald is the McNeil Professor in Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he directs the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, which supports research at the interface of basic and clinical research focusing on developing new and safer medicines. Dr. FitzGerald’s research has been characterized by an integrative approach to elucidating the mechanisms of drug action, drawing on work in cells, model organisms and humans. In addition to his groundbreaking work in cardioprotection and NSAIDs, he has also discovered many products of lipid peroxidation and established their utility as indices of oxidant stress in vivo. His laboratory was the first to discover a molecular clock in the cardiovascular system and has studied the importance of peripheral clocks in the regulation of cardiovascular and metabolic function. Dr. FitzGerald has received the Boyle, Coakley, Harvey and St. Patrick’s Day medals, the Lucian, Scheele and Hunter Awards and the Cameron, Taylor, Herz, Lefoulan Delalande, and Schottenstein Prizes. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy, a member of the Leopoldina and of the Accademia dei Lincel, a Fellow of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences and of the Royal Society. He holds honorary degrees from Dublin, Frankfurt, Edinburgh and King’s College, London.

About Calico

Calico (Calico Life Sciences LLC) is an Alphabet-funded research and development company whose mission is to harness advanced technologies to increase our understanding of the biology that controls lifespan. Calico will use that knowledge to devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives. To learn more about Calico, visit